By Henry Kyambalesa:

I wish to comment on statements made in recent months by Ronnie Shikapwasha, George Kunda and Rupiah Banda in support of the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation by Dr. Frederick Chiluba at State House on 29th December 1991, which was later incorporated into the Preamble of the 1996 Republican constitution.

It is important for national leaders to guard against the imposition of any particular religion on the entire society. The Republican constitution particularly should be a neutral document that does not discriminate against atheists or pagans, or those who believe in Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Jainism.

In the long run, the Declaration is likely to make non-Christian citizens to feel that they are second-class citizens. And, as Venkatesh Seshamani has argued, a feeling of religious superiority is likely to develop among Christians by virtue of their religion having been accorded constitutional status, which may lead to bigotry that would prompt them to view non-Christians as lost souls.

Clearly, the Declaration was made without consideration of the dangers of dragging religion into politics. Religion is deadly if it is not handled with utmost caution. The precarious problem currently facing Algeria, Nigeria, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and a host of other countries around the world which are beleaguered by religious conflicts should serve as a clear warning to each and every peace-loving Zambian to refrain from creating a similar situation that will dog our beloved country in perpetuity.

We should not be blinded by our having experienced no serious religious conflicts so far, but as our country’s population and the membership of each religious denomination swells, we would be short­sighted not to anticipate and make an effort to forestall the incidence such conflicts. We need to act proactively. To wait until the consequences of our failure to reason are upon us is to leave serious problems for future generations to grapple with. And such failure will eventually prove to us that experience, in relation to this issue, teaches fools, since we have thus far not been able to see beyond our noses.

What Zambia needs is a secular state that genuinely recognizes and safeguards each and every individual’s freedom of worship and the freedom to choose one’s religion. At the same time, we should actively DISCOURAGE the following in a deliberate effort to forestall the potential for disruption of public order and socio-economic activities by cliques of fanatics from any of our country’s religious denominations:

(a) The use of public funds by a local or national government to set up a church or mosque, and/or to provide any form of support to any given religious group, institution or activity;

(b) Official participation by government leaders in the affairs of any given religious group or institution, or official participation by any given religious leader or group in political or governmental affairs;

(c) The use of a religious platform by any individual or group of individuals to form a political party;

(d) The use of a religious platform by any individual to seek a leadership position in any of the three branches of government—that is, the legislature, the judiciary and the executive;

(e) Inclusion of denominational religious subjects in the curricula of schools funded by the government; and

(f) Religious sermons which are contemptuous to, or are designed to slight, other religious groupings or denominations.

In countries where government leaders have not provided for these kinds of safeguards mainly due to lack of foresight, violent clashes among religious groups in their quest to dominate the political sphere, and to impose their religious laws on the citizenry, have become exceedingly difficult to contain. As it is often said, prevention is better than cure! Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohammad summed up the perilous nat­ure of religi­ous conf­licts in his address to the World Evangeli­cal Fellow­ship in May 2001 thus: “Once started, reli­gious … [conflicts have] a tenden­cy to go on and on, [and] to become permanent feuds.”

In a country that is already inundated by violence and threats of violence mainly by cadres from the MMD on a regular basis, to add the potential for religious conflicts would be akin to spraying gasoline over burning charcoal.

In all, I am confident that religious institutions in Zambia will conti­nue to provide the moral and spiritual direction to our nation in an era that has been high-jacked by unprece­dent­ed violence and moral decay, and to articulate the people’s demands on the government for a more democratic, more peaceful, more prosperous, and more egalitarian socie­ty.

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63 COMMENTS

  1. You think these guys listen? When did we start talking against putting that clause in the constitution. Its as if they have no ears. People are talking, koma bali nga nga nga nga!!

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  2. Good arguments over here!! I just wonder if christians are given the same service in Moslem Countries! 😕

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  3. At last someone is talking sence, huts off Mr you ve hit it on the head. There is no reason to put such issues in the constitution especially without common concesus such as a referandum…..cheerz!!

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  4. Excellent Mr Kambalyesa ……You are not mincing your words today !
    The fact this thing was even incorporated into the republican constitution is beyond me.

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  5. LADIES EN GENTLEMEN- WHETHER YOU LIKE OR NOT JESUS CHRIST DIED EN ROSE ON THE 3rd DAY EN THT HE IS THE SON OF THE ALMIGHT GOD.

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  6. Excellent Mr Kambalyesa ……You are not mincing your words today !
    The fact that this thing was even incorporated into the republican constitution is beyond me.

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  7. #6 NAPAPA, ndi pa Zed mudala. That flag really gave me headaches. I didn’t know where i was… Palestine nangu Arzeibejine! Now i feel i have a sense of identity. Wish you well too and happy blogging!

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  8. Zambia is and let it remain a Christian Nation. What’s your problem with that. God is in control and shall ever be in Jesus’s Name.

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  9. This so-called declaration is all rubbish, it’s like a political slogan. Christianity means to live and follow in Christ’s footsteps, not hypocrisy. You declare Zambia a Christian nation today and the next day you plunder the nation’s wealth and steal another man’s wife, is that christianity? Rev SHIKAPWASHA thrives on daily lies and falsehoods, is that what a reverend should be?

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  10. Just briefly. There is nothing Christian about a country called Zambia. Shikapwasha is some pastor somewhere but does he understand the Bible? No!!!! If he did he would not be have the way he does. Jesus, whose name Zambia is misusing was a humble man who said: If one of you wants to be a leader he must must first accept to be servant- Shikapwasha cannot do this. Bu Kristu teku bosa fye ishina lya Mfumu iyoo.Feed my sheep so said the Lord

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  11. Mr Kambalyesa, we need to check for your identity! Are you really Zambian or a mixture of something??? Is that all your concern about this constitution process sure, iam sure you are being backed by some sort of Al-Qaeda? Please if you dont have anything to write, just sleep and dream youngman. I think you are an alien, will contact the Alien control department to check your whereabouts! Plz ba LT screen some of these unproductive articles/stories!

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  12. Yes the whites gave us their religion and took our wealth while our eyes wear close in prayer! If you go to Europe all the churches are empty. Funny that the people who brought these ideas do not practice them themselves. Oh I forgot. We need the religion to forget about our problems. Almost like an injured person needs clutches. And some politicians need the religion to strengthen their political power, just like in the Islamic states. God bless Zambia (While all the wealth is stolen and poverty takes hold)[-(

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  13. #20 – Well spoken!

    As a matter of principle religion should not be intertwined with politics. Even if a religion were perfect, it should not be imposed in a constitution. There should be freedom of worship. My own belief is that religions are merely different paths that lead to the same God.

    #15 – I agree, let us also not overlook the hypocrisy that is characteristic of some these religious proponents.LOL.

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  14. :d one of the greatest reasons some people fear Zambia being a Christian nation is the facing up to the ten commandments. 10 of the most basic but wisely crafted truths viewed from a believers or laymans eyes.

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  15. Ba Moze! I am fine brother. How are you? God is in control ba Moze akatilekelako things would be worse than what is prevailing right now. It is our One Zambia, One Nation and one christian pipo. God bless you all pipo of God.

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  16. Good Afternoon

    I personally don’t have a problem with this declaration, in fact I’m proud of it. Around the 18th century when the European missionaries began to make their way to Africa, they were all designated by their Kings and Queens, who had collectively declared part of Europe The Occident, i.e. the hub of Christian Western Civilisation or Christliches Abendland in German.

    Now if you study the wars and the enormous social challenges that Europe went through in order to arrive at such a declaration, you will be glad that Zambia has been spared any friction. You have no idea how many European Christians would give everything just to get back their lost declaration. This declaration has given Zambia a “golden status” among many other nations. Let us treasure it.

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    • This is an interesting topic. I know it is old but I have just seen it. I think Zambians must understand the meaning of declaring a nation as Christian. Let us be careful that we will all not be judged heavily as a nation for blaspheming Lord’s name.
      You cannot cover the whole nation Christian. What is happening in the country today leaves much to be desired. Brothels have sprung up, beer halls on increase, dishonest people are many, corruption, stealing from their bosses, murders, people worship material that of the Lord. The man responsible for declaration is the first to divorce his wife. the first to grab another man’s wife. plundering, list goes on. Can we really be proud that we represent Jesus Christ? Pastors are preaching money not repenting. Be careful Zambia. THIS IS my…

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  17. Whether Zambia is which it is a Christian nation or not, religions shall always clash. Good and evil can never mix, why do you think Everyman is conflicted in their minds. Our vesels were created good, then bene Adam na Eve badya vivanazi and caos broke loose. We always being tagged from within and you all know this. Islam and all the other religions shall clash with Christianity no matter the turf period.

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  18. There is nothing wrong with the declaration though it was made by a wrong charp. It must remain there. If you want it removed then people must also be swearing on the Koran! We shall embrace all other religions but christianity is the umbrela in Zambia. Anyway, the courts too use it.

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  19. 🙂 I know I am a very controversial Christian not like the norm. The believer that is beyond meek that the are dwanzy. My belief is Christians should work hard make Money and tith without someone hounding them to donate to every church related announcement. Give to the Lord though he gave you life. Also my brethren read the entire Bible even the book of Habakkuk. And just because someone is white does not make them closer to God Jesus died for us all. Same Jesus just work on your faith.

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  20. On a lighter note, do we have software engineers in Zambia. There is need for an independent software consortium to built a needs based program, it might be educational, scientific or even a game, preferably an educational game. Pen code to put the text books with can you remember on disk in an enjoyable format to help the next great minds of Zambia. We need to think outside the gray matter; innovation is the key to Zambia’s freedom, we were already liberated in 1964.

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  21. #22..Your own belief is that religions are merely different paths that lead to the same God.!!!!!! Shuuu… were did you get this???? Get it from me today, religions dont lead to the same God my friend “Vision” As a Christian believer, the Bible tell me that theres only one way that lead to the real God, and thats Jesus Christ. John 14:6:d. :-w. Plz read more about christianity

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  22. I`m proud to a zambian and to be identified in a christian nation.if chiluba made a mistake by declaring zambia a christian nation then he did very well.remember chiluba is not zambia and dont go to hell because of his mistakes.everyone writing on this blog you will stand to be judged by God.Dont make a mistake by migrating to europe or the west makes you great.never be cheated by the english you can talk nonses about including one who wrote this aticle.where have you ever heard christians chasing muslisms in zambia?

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  23. Kyambalesa cannot have it both ways. You cannot keep the church out of politics, and keep politics out of the church but still expect the church to continue providing moral and spiritual guidance to the nation. The activity of providing “spiritual and moral guidance” to the nation as you have written is very political in nature. If you choose secularism, then you cannot expect religious institutions to play those roles you have said the church should play. You cannot have it both ways!

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  24. #34, 35 and 36:

    You all have a shallow understanding of Christianity, Religion and World History. How long has Christianity been ariound and how old is the World? Why do you think the Jews rejected their fellow Jew, Jesus?

    I do not condemn Christianity but its has its flaws like all religions.

    Any reasonable and progressive country has to embrace freedom of worship. As black people, yes, you can be Christian do not impose it on all black people. What reigns supreme is the concept of God, not religion.

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  25. I’ve read the coran & was surprised about the closeness with the Bible. The old testament stories are there. Even the miraculous birth of Jesus is fully documented. The key difference is that they believe Jesus was a very special great prophet but not son of God because God cannot reproduce, this is job for you & me. I’ve listened to revered scholars compare & contrast these 2 religions and I must say in the end I find it completely unnecessary to drag this issue into public declaration. Let each person choose.

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  26. Hello Baby C! I can’t tell you how much I missed you!>:d< I'm fine, my dear. The Lord has always been good to a bad boy like me...<):)

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  27. :d let me sing an old song for you all :

    ukushana mushana mwe Bantu mule Shana bwino
    ukukusunsha mwe Bantu mule sunsha bwino
    ndombolo ndombolo muleshana bwino.
    mukatobola abantu amenso Ndombolo ndombolo
    muleshana bwino.

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  28. #36, Munshya wa Munshya:

    If you didn’t know, the country with probably the most secular constitution on the entire earth, the USA, is also one of the most religious in terms of Christianity. If you went to places like the Southern USA, i.e. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, etc, you will be amazed at the number of churches per every square mile. So, “bululu,” constitutional secularism and religiosity aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

    The danger of course is that the so called “the Religious Right” have hijacked the political agenda, hence you have such acrimonious fights over issues such as abortion rights, gay rights, civil/women rights, etc, nearly every elections here in the US. And that’s the danger if you let religion creep into politics/govt—-VERY DANGEROUS INDEED!!!

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  29. Since when did the word “g.a.y” (@ my #42) become inappropriate to use if not used to demean/disparage anyone? Come on ba LT, your filters don’t make sense sometimes!!!!!

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  30. The declaration of Zambia as a Christian or Islamic or Buddhist or Hindu or anything that you can think of Mutumwa nation , or a securer is baseless if it does not a bid by those principles. However, the all religion thing can be quite discriminating and empty to start with. Let me talk of Christianity coz that is the one I am quite familiar with. The division within Christianity is massive, Maybe it we can be more helpful, break it further and declare Zambian a Jehovah Witness or a Catholic or just a Bread of Life Nation.

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  31. Do you know how many millions if not billions people lived this earth without any religion to tell them of God as we know him today? If Zambia is so religious let them declare Zambia a Gods nations and remember to include an their kwacha in God we trust maybe it will be as strong as the Dollar too. If the earth/ world were created by one God why should we have all these different senseless declarations?

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  32. One thing for sure man will continue use religion and politics to create these divisions, which bring more harm than good. I don’t ever support declaring any nation to a particular religion. Because no one knows the true religion and God himself did not create any religion. Tell me which religion did Adam the first man created according to the bible attended, For me Zambia and all other nations will just be that without any religious tag to their name. That is why the killing will continue in the name of God because everyone thinks they are right.:o:o:o

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  33. meant which religion did Adam ‘professed’ ichisungu chila tushupako…All these are fruits of religion and politics, fyebene twenzo kamba chi-Lozi

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  34. That clause must be included. If u are not a believe it does nt make other too. About 98% of Zambian are christians so what is wrong with that. If other countries are Islamic why shouldnt we be christian. Long live God Long live Zambia. God bless Zambia God bless Zambians

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  35. YOU PEOPLE WHETHER ZAMBIA IS A CHRISTIAN NATION OR NOT THATS NOT A POINT ,THE POINT IS THAT ARE YOU SAVED AND WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST …ALL YOU WHO DENY JESUS NOW YOU CAN DENY HIM NOW BUT WHEN HE COMES TO JUDGE THE WORLD YOU WILL NEVER DENY TO BE JUDGED BY HIM ,YOU CAN DENY SALVATION FOR NOW BUT YOU WONT DENY TO BE JUDGED.JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD ,AND JEHOVAH IS THE TRUE LIVING GOD PERIOD.BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THERE LORD .

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  36. MMMD (#48): where did you get the 98% from? Christians in Zambia are at most 80% of the population; at least 5% of the population are Moslems; 1.5% belong to the Baha’i faith; and the rest believe in Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or are no-believers. All the same, Henry has a good point; you personally could be prepared to fight in religious conflicts the way it is in Nigeria in Jos city, but your children and grandchildren will probably not want to be involved in such conflicts. Always think about future generartions. If Chiluba and his blind followers had succeeded in getting a third term of office, he would have gone around the world proclaiming that he is Jesus. Fortunately, “docile” Zambians thwarted his motives.

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  37. Zambia is not a christian nation. If it were we would not be threatening to reap women, we would have no capital punishment, we would not have the have s and have nots. it is a collection of people with a common goal to better their lives not through prayer but hard work and tolerance for one another. These people trying to impose this declaration are not even worth the kingdom of God as described in the bible. Don’t lie to your selves at the expense of plunging our nation into anarchy you freakin’ I.DIOTs.

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  38. #48 and 49:
    As black people let us put God and Christianity in perspective. God?! We have always belived in God from time imemorial and he/she is real. Christianity came to Africa only during the past 400 years, a very short time in World History. Other societies (India, China, Far East, parts of Europe etc) rejected it and retained their own religions. We embraced Christianity and at the same time endured colonialism, slavery and other untold afflictions. Now we sing loudest about Christianity and remain the most underdeveloped and marginalised. Are we that gullible? Granted, some can persuasively say that Christianity had nothing to do with our past afflictions and choose to continue with it, but to impose it in a constitution, is unwarranted and unfair.All religions are flawed, period.

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  39. Ifeel proud to be Zambian because of that declaration .It is true Zambia is a christian nation , it can be evidenced by the tolerance the people of Zambia have.In other countries like those in th emiddle east , people like Kyambalesa would not be penning such things and still live there. he would be in hell before he realise whats going on. He should also cahge his name to Kyambasatan.
    Zambia is for Christ, lets debate other things and not what is meant for the good of humanity.

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  40. :d yes no# 41 Nine Chale I am in a cheerful mood indeed. The amount of wisdom and passion we are getting on LT is impressive. Plus my Lord Jesus loves us all. Blessings for you and your family my brother. Just love the fact thateven the most naive blogger is getting smarter on LT, like you know wisdom is hard to get and at the same time panful but joyously great. Always remember to invest in your relatives education. Send them books with no hidden biases or niches that might delude innocent zambians. Later. Oh! May the Lord Jesus bless us all on LT and open our eyes too. Blessings everyone.

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  41. Mr. Kyambalesa – the last four characters of your name by the way! Either we declare ourselves Christian or Muslim. You can argue about all the jargon – it is just as plain as that. Try some of this c.rap you have written here in the Middle East and come tell us.

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  42. By the way, it would be nice for Frederick Chiluba or any of his followers to provide the nation with a theological basis for the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation. On which of the 69 books in the Holy Bible is the declaration based?

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  43. Ba kafusasa mwa pya mukaya pya. christian nation kwisa?? ubufi daily. Pa Zed chimochine kwati Sodom & Gomorra.

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  44. I for one m very Glad about the dreclaration, i am Zimbabwean i would give anything to get this declaration to be made over our nation, you guys simply have no idea hoew blessed you are to have GOD as the covering over your nation, THE LORD protects and blesses your nation because you gave HIM HIS place. Zimbabwe had a very powerful national anthem that GLORIFIED GOD and the day the athem changed to now glorifing men, our nations down fall began. This is just a national anthem that brought our nation its blessings imagine then your selves removing GOD as you SOURCE YOU COVERING. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR TROBLE WILL BE THEN.ZAMBIA IS BLESSED DO NOT TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED……..

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  45. “”In all, I am confident that religious institutions in Zambia will conti­nue to provide the moral and spiritual direction to our nation “” this is where you got it wrong.. you should say to individuals, and not to the nation, they will be be no nations In heaven, as far i got to understand what i read about Christianity.. Otherwise i agree with you, and even if 12.599999999990000 million Zambian would what this .. I don’t and its Wrong anyone that see what you see is Right… its in fact the Rational and objective view,, and religion is not objective..  

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  46. To declare Zambia a Christian Nation is to promote Christianity as the only true Religion on this planet and every true christian must agree with the declaration.this is not about puting those who are not christians down but this is about the TRUTH.Anyone who is complaining about the declaration there is no truth that person and the person is still in bondage and need help.the Bible says the will of God is for everyone to be saved,meaning everyone must be christian according to the plan of God.so Mr Henry Kyambalesa be careful of what you are saying,DON’T FIGHT GOD,my advise to you as a brother if you are not yet a christian,this is your opportinity under the Grace of God to be one of us,i mean a CHRISTIAN…Thank you and God bless Zambia our CHRISTIAN NATION.

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  47. This is the most foolish article I have ever read and it’s points of reference are all illogical at best. When Muslim names choose to be named so, they are not apologetic about anything at all and neither should the first nation on the face of the earth to ever declare itself Christian do so. All the countries referred to where conflict arose, did not find themselves with such because they fully practiced their religious values and therefore the comparison hold no water at all. Of all the things Chiluba did, he did only one thing right and that was to declare our nation the first ever to profess as Christian, for that alone I would pray a prayer that his soul may rest in peace – BRM

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